OTA prepares Pulitzer winner 'Doubt, A Parable'

Olympic Theatre Arts is rehearsing the second play of its season, "Doubt, A Parable."

John Patrick Shanley's play won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play.

"What do you do when you're not sure?" Father Flynn asks the audience in the play's opening line. The dramatic parable that follows explores doubt as necessary for questioning that which seems certain.

Set in a Catholic school in the Bronx in 1964, Sister Aloysius is convinced the school's first African American student is getting too much attention from the progressive Father Flynn. Lacking any evidence to support her claim, her investigation becomes an elaborate game of cat and mouse plagued by uncertainties and driven by obsession.

Director's debut

Jaye Butler's debut as director follows several years of experience behind the scenes. In the readings Butler conducted before rehearsals began, cast members peeled back the layers of their characters.

Sister Aloysius is played by veteran actress Olivia Shea, who brings stern concentration to the character who never wavers from her certainty of the priest's wrongdoing.

Miles Carignan as Father Flynn mirrors the many changes taking place in the Catholic Church following the Pope's second Ecumenical Council.

Flynn moves from casual charm to bewilderment to raw fury as he defends himself against Sister Aloysius' accusations.

As Sister James, Alaynna Little portrays a young, enthusiastic teacher swept up in a battle of wills and who struggles with the certainty of her faith and the wisdom of doubt.

Michele Jackson plays the mother of the student Father Flynn has befriended. Her sole purpose is to put her son on track to a good education and a better life.

Design team, adviser

Stage manager is Elena Karr. The design team is Rosie von Engel, artistic and scenic designer; Eleanor Larsen, costume designer; Lily and Miles Carignan, light designers; and Phil Mortenson, sound designer.

Sister Rita King, an archivist for the Sisters of Charity of New York, has been technical adviser for OTA's production, offering guidance on the habits and other aspects of the sisters' lives in 1964.

She even entrusted the actors with 5-foot-long rosaries worn at the time.

"That is an unexpected honor," said Butler. "The magnitude of this generous act stuns us."

'Doubt,' no doubt

What: "Doubt, A Parable"

When: 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 20-21, 27-28,

Dec. 3-5.

Matinees at 2 p.m.

Nov. 22, 29 and Dec. 6.

Where: Olympic Theatre Arts, 414 N. Sequim Ave., Sequim

How much: $15 general admission, $13 for OTA members, $10 for students, on sale at Pacific Mist Books, 121 W. Washington St., Sequim; Odyssey Books, 114 W. Front St., Port Angeles; and OTA's box office

For details: Call 683-7326 or visit

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